NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Women have been breaking ground in advertising since before they won the right to vote, and for the past 100 years, their efforts have been fostered by Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), the premier organization for women in advertising, marketing, media, digital, promotions and public relations. AWNY is marking its centennial milestone with a slate of ambitious initiatives and events that further its mission to advance women in communications. It is a field in which women demonstrated innovation and leadership as early as 1911, when Helen Lansdowne Resor penned the first-ever sexual sell, "The Skin You Love to Touch," for Woodbury's Soap.
"When AWNY was founded, the 19th Amendment was still eight years away from ratification. While they had yet to have a voice in elections, women were making themselves heard both as consumers and marketers," said AWNY President Carol Watson, founder of the cross-cultural talent consultancy Tangerine-Watson. "AWNY was the first association for women in communications, and throughout our history we have celebrated and cultivated the trailblazers in our field."
AWNY's Centennial, which will receive a special proclamation from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, began its roll-out in June. "Each aspect of our Centennial program is designed to further the cause of women in advertising and related fields, providing our members with the tools they need to thrive professionally – from inspiration to mentoring opportunities to financial support," said Watson.
The slate of events and initiatives is as follows:
$100,000 Education Loan Relief Scholarship Fund. Launched in June 2012, the fund was created to alleviate the financial burden of members grappling with student loan debt, which has grown to become the largest single category of American debt. AWNY will present a minimum of ten $10,000 awards to qualifying members at the organization's Centennial celebrations on October 4.
Women in Advertising Survey: AWNY is participating in a research survey of women in advertising. Survey results, to be released in October, will capture respondents' thoughts about the state of their business and the industry and their outlook for the future.
"2,012 in 2012" Membership Drive. AWNY, which currently represents more than 1,700 women and men in advertising and related fields, has set an ambitious membership goal of 2,012 by year's end.
100-day Countdown: AWNY is driving interest in its Centennial initiatives and building momentum towards the October 4 luncheon with a 100-day countdown on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AWNYorg) and its blog (http://awny100.tumblr.com/). Each day's entry provides information on an upcoming event or offers food for thought on a topical issue.
Starcom MediaVest Group Breakfast: Held the morning of October 4 at The New York Times offices, this event will kick off the day's centennial celebrations and bring together many of the industry's foremost female thought leaders as well as young professionals to discuss the future of the industry. Attendees include Starcom MediaVest Group's Laura Desmond, Coca-Cola's Wendy Clark, Facebook's Carolyn Everson and The New York Times' Tanzina Vega.
October 4 Centennial Luncheon. Sponsored by AOL, Google, Time Warner CableMedia,VEVO, OMD and Meredith Corporation, the luncheon will connect 500 of the industry's leading executives and rising stars in an event that promises to be a highlight of Advertising Week's "Day of Women." The event will honor 10 women – two selected by each sponsor – who either have paved the way for others or are breaking new ground in the industry.
Advertising Women of New York, which turns 100 this year, was founded in 1912 as the first women's association in the communications industry. The organization has grown to represent more than 1,700 dynamic and influential women and men representing the advertising, marketing, media, digital, promotions and public relations fields. The mission of AWNY is to provide a forum for personal and professional growth, to serve as a catalyst for the advancement of women in the communications field, and to promote and support philanthropic endeavors through the AWNY Foundation. For further information, visit http://www.awny.org.